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dclary
02-24-2009, 04:57 AM
This was one of those humdrum years when ever picture nominated was an artsy film created for the sole purpose of being an oscar nominee. BORING.

But, that doesn't mean Slumdog Millionaire was the worst oscar winner ever. There have been worse choices.


My top five/worst five:

5 pictures that were more than the best picture of the year, but truly transcendent films for all time:

Return of the King 2003
honestly, not the greatest movie of all time by itself, but since the best film of the series (Fellowship) got snubbed, it is a suitable award for all three films as a body of work.

Braveheart 1995
Notable in that it was the last large-scale battlefield movie to not use CGI to enhance the size of the participating armies.

Unforgiven 1992
Against very strong competition, too. Almost any film nominated this year would have been a good choice, but Clint's deconstruction of the genre he'd himself helped build was a stunning masterpiece, and no film he's made since has had the same force or impact.

Lawrence of Arabia 1962
One of the grandest, most visually stunning movies of all time, at once epic and intimate, and brilliantly cast, shot, and presented.

Casablanca 1943
What can you say? It's one of the most perfect movies ever made, and still hasn't lost any of its shine. A movie that weathers this well after 60+ years is a true classic.



WORST.... Movies that SO did not deserve the Oscar Nod...

2001 A Beautiful Mind
Son of a Bitch. There's not a person alive who didn't work on those films who can *honestly* say that the acting, production value, script, cinematography, or anything else about this movie was better than Fellowship of the Rings. That's my fanboy stand, and I'm sticking to it.

1998 Shakespeare in Love
ZOMG. Ok, I like this movie. It's actually pretty damned awesome. But it is by no shape of the imagination even close to Saving Private Ryan. Total studio bullcrap, proven doubly over when the academy sent the obligatory 'sorry about 1998' apology in the form of 1999's oscar to Dreamworks with American Beauty.

1989 Driving Miss Daisy
I honestly don't see what's so great about this movie. It's okay, I guess, but with My Left Foot, Dead Poets Society, and the only Kevin Costner movie I ever cry at (without the tears being at his acting or accent) Field of Dreams? Total non-deservance here.

1977 Annie Hall
Are you kidding me? Annie Freaking Hall? Let me ask you... How many people decided to become filmmakers in 1977 because of Annie Hall? Ok. Now, how many people decided to become filmmakers because of Star Wars? Huh. Why is that? Because Star Wars changed the face of a nation. It redefined -- and set the gold standard -- for almost every single technical aspect of filmmaking for 20 years. One of the greatest movies of all time, snubbed by Woody Allen lovers. Grrrrrr.

1939 Gone With the Wind
This one might be personal. I am SO not a fan of Scarlett O'Hare. And that movie just drags on and on and freaking on and on and on. Gods! Mr. Chips is a great movie. Wizard of Oz is a better movie than GWTW! So many great movies that year. They picked the wrong one.


Anyway, that's my take on it. What's yours?!?

maestrowork
02-24-2009, 05:09 AM
No Country for Old Man -- it's a fine film and very American, but gosh, There Will Be Blood and Atonement are both so much better and more deserving.

Crash -- I can't stand that melodramatic drivel. Ugh, that was a multimillion dollar campaign gone wrong.

A Beautiful Mind -- Ron Howard's worst.

Chariots or Fire -- ZZZZZZZZ

Best:

There are so many great movies that really did deserve best picture. I'll list a few personal favorites:

- Lawrence of Arabia
- The Silence of the Lambs
- The Bridge on the River Kwai
- My Fair Lady
- The Godfather I and II
- Schindler's List
- the Lord of the Rings

Amy R.
02-24-2009, 05:14 AM
1939 Gone With the Wind
This one might be personal. I am SO not a fan of Scarlett O'Hare.

I adore that movie; so yes, it is personal ;-)

I think Slumdog Millionaire deserved the big win; and I was kinda glad that Benjamin Button only won three "minor" Oscars.

SirOtter
02-24-2009, 10:50 AM
Get comfortable, folks. this may take a while. Professor Otter's gonna start at the beginning and walk ya'll through every year of the Oscars (eventually), critiquing Oscar's big choices, most obnoxious flubs and generally showing off how many movies he's seen.

I'll only pass judgment on those I've actually seen all or part of, so be prepared for Ye Olde Wall o' Text here.

Oscar's first year, 1929, drew from the films released in both 1927 and 1928. There were kind of two best pictures, one for 'Unique and Artistic Production' (whatever the hell that means) which went to Sunrise, and the other for overall production, which went to Wings. Either was a good choice. Wings was the Star Wars of its day, but with bigger stars, including Clara Bow and Gary Cooper in a small role. Sunrise was a beautifully photographed film about infidelity. The Crowd was the other nominee in the first category that was worthy. Other good choices (not nominated, BTW - I've not seen the other nominees) would have been Garbo's Love (based on Anna Karenina), Chaplin's The Circus (which was given a special award), Sadie Thompson with Gloria Swanson and Walter Huston, and any one of several of Lon Chaney's pictures made those two years, of which I've seen The Unknown (with a very young Joan Crawford), Mr. Wu, Laugh Clown Laugh or West of Zanzibar. Great films, but except for the last not really the sort of thing Oscar tends to recognize. BTW, Zanzibar was remade a few years later under the title Congo with Walter Huston - overall a better movie, but Huston was no Chaney. If only Lon had lived a few more years to star in the remake, as he did with The Unholy Three. Harold Lloyd's Speedy lost Best Direction, Comedy to Lewis Milestone's Two Arabian Knights, starring Louis Wollheim and a pre-Hopalong Cassidy William Boyd, but I can see it going either way. If you add Lloyd's The Kid Brother into the mix, though, that would have been a better choice, but only slightly. The worst sin of omission in that category is that there were four magnificent Buster Keaton efforts for 1927-1928 - The General, College, Steamboat Bill Jr and The Cameraman - any of which would have been worthy best picture nominees. The General is now considered one of the two or three greatest silent comedy features, and with good reason. The most important picture of those two years, though, had to settle for another special award. The Jazz Singer's historical significance vastly overshadows its worthiness as a film. Frankly, it's a crashing bore unless you're an Al Jolsen devotee, which I am not. All in all, I can live with the best pictures, even if Chaney and Keaton got skunked.

What went wrong at the 1929 Oscars? I mean, really. Broadway Melody? Memorable only for introducing the song Singin' in the Rain. None of the other nominees in any category are memorable, except for In Old Arizona, which won Warner Baxter a best actor trophy for being the first man to play the Cisco Kid. Hollywood was too enraptured with its new toy, sound, to understand that just filming people talking or singing isn't enough to constitute a great film. In Old Arizona is talkier than it needs to be, but otherwise isn't bad. Can't say the same for Baxter's other series film, the early Charlie Chan film, Behind That Curtain. I'd like that hour and a half back, please. The other film that year based on an Earl Derr Biggers novel, Seven Keys to Baldpate, is better, but still too slight for Oscar consideration. Hell, the Marx Brothers' Cocoanuts was better than anything else offered that year that I can think of.

Not seen yet alert - White Shadows in the South Seas won for best cinematography - I've got that set to record on my DVR next month, so if anyone is still interested then - if at all - I'll be happy to report if it was worthy of its Oscar after seeing it. Same with the un-nominated Pandora's Box, which is in my Netflix queue.

1929-1930 was a MUCH better year for movies, and the second Oscar giveaway of 1930 shows it. (The first was in April, the second in November) Not that anything had much of a chance against Milestone's magnificent All Quiet on the Western Front, the first truly great American sound film, but there were some terrific movies tossed in as sacrificial lambs. Garbo's Anna Christie, George Arliss' Disraeli (win for best actor) Bulldog Drummond with Ronald Colman and Norma Shearer's The Divorcee (win for best actress) were respectable choices. Chaney's last movie, the sound remake of his silent The Unholy Three, wouldn't have been out of place among the nominees, but it wasn't to be, alas. No nomination whatsoever. Chaney should have been given a chance to give Arliss a run for his money alongside Colman, who had to wait another seventeen years for his well-deserved statuette for A Double Life.

Oscar had another off year in 1931. I can see Cimarron beating out Trader Horn, a better than average jungle adventure but nothing to write home about, and Skippy, the first comic based movie to be nominated, but by what set of criteria could it possibly be considered better than The Front Page? Not a patch on the first remake, His Girl Friday, but miles better than the overbown Richard Dix western epic. Warner Brothers' first couple of great crime films each got a writing nomination, but either The Public Enemy (in which Jimmy Cagney shoves a grapefruit in Mae Clarke's face) or Little Caesar were better movies than the best picture winner. And where were Frankenstein and Dracula? Oscar began its unreasonable bias against horror films early.

I'll close (for now) with the 1933 awards. Oscar got over its abhorence of horror long enough to give Fredric March a trophy for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, but he remains to this day the only actor so honored for playing a monster. Jeff Goldblum ought to have had a shot at breaking that pathetic record in 1987 for The Fly remake, but Oscar just can't see horror for dust. Of the nominees for best picture, Grand Hotel is clearly the best, but where Oscar really got it right was in the comedy short category. Laurel and Hardy's The Music Box is still one of the funniest films ever made. No argument there.

I'm going to keep doing this until ya'll stop me forcibly. Or until I get tired of it.

Joe270
02-24-2009, 12:02 PM
In the 80s there were many which I disagreed with.

Terms of Enderment over The Right Stuff? Puhleeeeese.

Out of Africa??? The worst movie ever, Ishtar was better. 'Ah had Ah fahm in Ahhhfreakah', oh, I get pissed just recalling the line. Crap, crap, crap, and more crap.

The English Patient? I'd rather have TWO root canals than watch that again, and it beat out Fargo? How?

Shakespeare in Love? Come on, this was a better film than Saving Private Ryan? Absolutely no way by any standard. This was nuts.

American Beauty was decent, but The Sixth Sense was groundbreaking.

My two cents on a few of them.

CaroGirl
02-24-2009, 05:19 PM
The English Patient? I'd rather have TWO root canals than watch that again, and it beat out Fargo? How?
I agree with this. Fargo was a great film. The English Patient was eminently forgettable.

I also grieved when Pulp Fiction didn't win best picture in 1994. It was robbed, I tell ya. I mean, Forrest Gump was cute, but Pulp Fiction was fantastic.

Bravo
02-24-2009, 08:35 PM
crash was awful.

probably the most overrated movie in recent memory.

Jcomp
02-24-2009, 08:44 PM
crash was awful.

probably the most overrated movie in recent memory.

And I'm ashamed to say I liked it initially. But it was really bad. I remember watching it for a 2nd time thinking "How did I get suckered into enjoying this?" I think the cast blinded me, I'm a fan of damn near everybody who appeared on the screen, but in hindsight it was just a waste of abundant talent.

maestrowork
02-24-2009, 11:22 PM
Crash was so bad that it turned me off from Haggis (Paul Haggis, that is) completely. Didn't even care to watch Million Dollar Baby, which he wrote.

willietheshakes
02-25-2009, 12:34 AM
Shakespeare in Love? Come on, this was a better film than Saving Private Ryan? Absolutely no way by any standard. This was nuts.


Yes, it was a better film than Saving Private Ryan.

SPR was a clunkily-written, hackneyed, jingoistic, feel-bad/feel-good/feel-bad bit of sop for the Greatest Generation and those it could manipulate into a momentary and fleeting respect for "all that they did for us, ya know?".

SIL, to my mind, beats it hands-down, everywhere it counts: writing, acting, genuine emotion, challenging approach, respect for its audience...

I have NEVER been so happy with an Oscar as I was when SIL took it home over SPR.

dclary
02-25-2009, 12:43 AM
You're banned from the cool kids' club, willie. Sorry. turn in your beanie and badge with the officer at the door.

maestrowork
02-25-2009, 12:45 AM
I agree with SIL. It was an excellent film, and Gwyneth Paltrow owned that film and deserved the Oscar as well. I think pitting it against SPR is the male-sensitivity vs. female-sensitivity thing, or the brothers-in-arm thing vs. the love-emotion thing. It's easy for me to see where the voters split. But I really don't think SPR is that much better than SIL -- just very different.

And deek... you just have a very conventional taste in movies. Admit it. :) It's okay to be average. ;)

scarletpeaches
02-25-2009, 12:45 AM
Well I happen to agree with him and I love The English Patient, too.

So there.

And you won't throw me out of the cool kids' club, Deek, because you fancy me.

willietheshakes
02-25-2009, 12:47 AM
You're banned from the cool kids' club, willie. Sorry. turn in your beanie and badge with the officer at the door.

Hey, I've never been in the cool kid's club.

And if part of the membership dues involve the consumption of overcooked pap, I'm okay with that... :)

(I swear, there's a Groucho Marx line that's apropos...)

maestrowork
02-25-2009, 12:48 AM
I thought the English Patient was really boring at first. But then I watched it again years later (like last year) and I thought it was fantastic. OK, not perfect and there are things I don't like about -- and the main lovers are not entirely likable. But I now think it's an excellent piece of filmmaker and have a new-found respect for Anthony Minghella. And of course, Juliet Binoche is simply scrumptious. It was really her story and she's the lead, IMHO, not the supporting actress, but she really deserved that Oscar.

dclary
02-25-2009, 12:50 AM
I agree with SIL. It was an excellent film, and Gwyneth Paltrow owned that film and deserved the Oscar as well. I think pitting it against SPR is the male-sensitivity vs. female-sensitivity thing, or the brothers-in-arm thing vs. the love-emotion thing. It's easy for me to see where the voters split. But I really don't think SPR is that much better than SIL -- just very different.

And deek... you just have a very conventional taste in movies. Admit it. :) It's okay to be average. ;)

Gahhhhhh!


SIL is a great movie, and I watch it often. Why? I don't know. It's a mystery! ^_^

BUT... SPR was better.

Alas, I guess this is what great debate is made of. both sides being right, and neither side willing to admit that.

dclary
02-25-2009, 12:51 AM
Well I happen to agree with him and I love The English Patient, too.

So there.

And you won't throw me out of the cool kids' club, Deek, because you fancy me.


That's true, and my sweetipoodinkiyums likes your poetry.

maestrowork
02-25-2009, 12:52 AM
SIL is a great movie, and I watch it often. Why? I don't know. It's a mystery! ^_^

It's the "unwrap" scene, I'm sure. That's de most smexiest scene in movies...

scarletpeaches
02-25-2009, 12:55 AM
That's true, and my sweetipoodinkiyums likes your poetry.

Your nipple inspires poetry that will last throughout the ages.


It's the "unwrap" scene, I'm sure. That's de most smexiest scene in movies...

I beg to differ. There's a scene where Paltrow's on stage and Fiennes is in the wings, just looking at her.

That is sexy right there. The look in his eyes.

dclary
02-25-2009, 01:02 AM
If I have to remove SIL as a bad pic for oscar, I'm replacing it with that travesty of an award: Chicago.

donroc
02-25-2009, 01:06 AM
Anyone who has written in Hollywood will appreciate one scene in SIL more than any other: When the boatman pushes his manuscript on Shakespeare.

Serenity
02-25-2009, 03:11 AM
Lawrence of Arabia 1962
One of the grandest, most visually stunning movies of all time, at once epic and intimate, and brilliantly cast, shot, and presented.



- Lawrence of Arabia



I may now have to divide my love between you two. I ADORE this movie. It's my all-time favorite. The piercing looks and sheer presence of Peter O'Toole and Omar Sharif? Plus the fantastic array of actors including Antony Quinn and Alec Guiness? Then there's the breathtaking score and scenery. I first watched this film when I was 9 or 10, I think. Been in love with it ever since.

MissKris
02-25-2009, 04:57 AM
Jumping in this thread a little late, but I gotta say . . . Scarlet, m'dear, I just love you. Thank goodness for your regularly updated eyecandy profile pics and your excellent taste in movies.

SIL deserved that little gold statue. And, honestly, maybe SPR did, too. But only one can win. The Academy has tipped its hat to more than one glorified war movie. A little bit of Bardish love, lust and clever dialogue was due for accolades.

And what's with the The English Patient haters? Beautiful, brilliant, wrenching film. Ralph Fiennes (swoon) acted the jealous lover to perfection and Juliette Binoche was splendid. Her one line - "I don't know anything" as she looks away - perfection!

Beyond that, I would say that though Star Wars is one of the greatest films of all time it was genre - and new genre at that - before genre was as accepted as it is now. Who could have know what it would mean in the history of film making? Ah, but an oversight nonetheless.

Toothpaste
02-25-2009, 05:16 AM
I'll also add that Woody Allen actually HAS been an inspiration to film makers, but maybe not genre film makers, and that "Annie Hall" is a brilliant film, original, and wonderfully acted. I will not deny the awesomeness that is Star Wars - but come on, just because it isn't your genre doesn't suddenly make "Annie Hall" worthless, or something no one ever saw. It is an incredibly famous film, heck even had an impact on the fashion industry.

maestrowork
02-25-2009, 05:39 AM
I actually think Raiders of the Lost Ark should have won. What a perfect film. :)

selkn.asrai
02-25-2009, 06:09 AM
Agreed on Crash. Overhyped, stereotypical, vapid film. Chicago didn't deserve Best Picture, in my opinion. And neither did Slumdog Millionaire--I think Benjamin Button should have gotten that Oscar hands down. But Slumdog's win is just like Sean Penn for Milk to me: expected. Honestly, when has the Academy NOT given an Oscar to the actor/actress who does the biopic?

I don't like Braveheart. Aside from Gibson's deplorable acting, clunky, overly-sentimental, bloated and propagandistic writing, you can blame it on my pride. "The bridge was in the way"?! Are you serious? But I have a grudge against the director--Mel Gibson is one of history's worst spin doctors, and he proves it with every film he makes.

I adore Shakespeare in Love. It's a joy, and masterful in its acting, writing, pacing and ambience. Genuine and witty in its execution, subtle. It's far from historically accurate in some ways--what little we know of Shakespeare's life is included--and they play with the order in which his works were written. But it's done with a sophisticated, intellectual tongue-in-cheek approach. Nothing lofty, grandiose, self-serving or manipulative like I see in Braveheart. The way with which they approach Will Shakespeare is creative and almost an alternative reality, and yet it's grounded in the elaborate reality of the era. As much as I love Saving Private Ryan, it doesn't quite compare (I do love Upham, though).

The only thing I get sick of in SIL is that vexing bartender in the scene in which Kit and Will brainstorm. He silently tries to interact, does a cocky wink and an amibvalent shake of the head, a melodramatic furrow of the brow--like he's a part of this process! Get off my screen! It's one of my only gripes with the film... must have been the director's doctor's cousin, and he gave him one line and a few frames as a favor. I wish I weren't the only one to be annoyed by the guy, but it always seems I am, so I shall cease typing.

eyeblink
02-25-2009, 11:25 AM
I'll also add that Woody Allen actually HAS been an inspiration to film makers, but maybe not genre film makers, and that "Annie Hall" is a brilliant film, original, and wonderfully acted. I will not deny the awesomeness that is Star Wars - but come on, just because it isn't your genre doesn't suddenly make "Annie Hall" worthless, or something no one ever saw. It is an incredibly famous film, heck even had an impact on the fashion industry.

Seconded. I'm not quite old enough to have seen Annie Hall on release - and I didn't get into Woody Allen until the following decade - and personally I prefer Manhattan, and for me Annie Hall's first half is brilliant and the second half merely very good... But I won't deny it its Oscar. A near-great romantic comedy from one of Hollywood's best decades versus a space opera that I do enjoy but thought was overrated then and now, and which is partly to blame for the dumbing down of the commercial movie industry ever since.

(For the record, The Empire Strikes Back is IMO by far the best Star Wars film - the best written, directed and photographed of them all. Storyline apart, none of those functions were carried out by George Lucas.)

AllieB
02-25-2009, 06:19 PM
Yup, The English Patient deserved the Oscar that year. Beautiful film.

And let's not forget that Crash won only because most of the Academy voters couldn't bring themselves to vote for a "gay cowboy" movie...c'mon...Brokeback Mtn. wins Best Director but not Best Picture?

Slumdog rightfully won this year, and not because it was an artsy film that was produced with the hopes of being an Oscar contender.

Joe270
02-27-2009, 03:08 AM
I agree with SIL. It was an excellent film, and Gwyneth Paltrow owned that film and deserved the Oscar as well.

I don't understand people liking this film. Not only did I not like the film, but I thought Paltrow was terrible. I kept thinking she would say 'look at me, I'm [I]acting![I]' any moment throughout the film.

maestrowork
02-27-2009, 03:49 AM
What do you mean? She's incredible. And that English accent is perfect.

Joe270
02-27-2009, 06:49 AM
Sorry. I'm not a Paltrow fan. I've never seen what the fuss was about, and I've never seen anything spectacular in her performances, especially in SIL.

SirOtter
02-27-2009, 12:55 PM
Sorry. I'm not a Paltrow fan. I've never seen what the fuss was about, and I've never seen anything spectacular in her performances, especially in SIL.

Same here. I find her voice annoying as hell.

eyeblink
02-27-2009, 10:43 PM
What do you mean? She's incredible. And that English accent is perfect.

Second only to her London accent in Sliding Doors. Having met many London PRs, I can vouch for the accuracy.

Since she's more in the news these days for her celebrity husband and children with silly names, GP's acting ability is frequently overlooked. If you want to see scene-stealing, watch a little-seen film called Flesh and Bone early in her career.

Serenity
02-28-2009, 09:57 PM
Second only to her London accent in Sliding Doors. Having met many London PRs, I can vouch for the accuracy.

I loved Sliding Doors. I've watched it many, many times. Although I think that has more to do with John Hanna than GP. :D

Joe270
03-01-2009, 02:54 AM
Second only to her London accent in Sliding Doors. Having met many London PRs, I can vouch for the accuracy.

That's part of the problem I have with her in the role in the first place. I mean, it's not like there might have been an actress from England who wouldn't need to put on a fake accent for the part, right? That was the problem I had with What's Her Name in the 'Bridget Jones' chick-flick. I can't believe I got roped into going to that one by my wife.

It really sucks that England has no decent actresses for these roles.

scarletpeaches
03-01-2009, 02:57 AM
I don't see why people insist on English actors playing English characters.

That's what acting is. Pretending to be something you're not.

Joe270
03-01-2009, 03:05 AM
Pretending to be something you're not.

Sure, I get that. It just seems to me, at least in the case with SIL, that an actress acting like she's a male actor acting in a period piece set in Shakespeare's time has enough acting already going on without acting like she has an English accent.

Whew. Say that three times really fast.

scarletpeaches
03-01-2009, 03:07 AM
Well...I think she did pretty well.

And regarding Bridget Jones, RZ fooled one of my relatives into thinking she was English born and bred.

maestrowork
03-01-2009, 04:04 AM
Sure, I get that. It just seems to me, at least in the case with SIL, that an actress acting like she's a male actor acting in a period piece set in Shakespeare's time has enough acting already going on without acting like she has an English accent.

Whew. Say that three times really fast.

Wait, so if it was played by, say, Cate Blanchett (who is Australian, and not British) or Kate Winslet, then it would be okay? Because, god forbid actors shouldn't have to fake an accent?

Then what about all the English actors who do American roles? Christian Bale, Kate Winslet, Ralph Fiennes, Jude Law, etc.?

Oh, how about Julie Andrews as a woman who pretends to be a man playing a woman? :)


It's called acting, and Meryl Streep does accents ALL The time and no one says she's a bad actress because of that. And the fact that an American actress can so effortlessly do an English accent that is both authentic and effective is itself a true testimony to her ability. Or ask Kevin Costner.... ;)

I understand you don't like Paltrow, and that's okay, but it's not reason to say she can't act. She did marvelous in SIL.

scarletpeaches
03-01-2009, 04:19 AM
Christian Bale is Welsh.

MissKris
03-01-2009, 09:52 AM
Christian Bale is Welsh.

Christian Bale is Yummy

http://memetrics.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/christian_bale_94.jpg

And, on topic, Gwenyth is a lovely and talented actress. Wait. That isn't on topic. :D

maestrowork
03-01-2009, 10:02 AM
He could go from the Machinist to Batman in 6 months:

http://mundodemente.files.wordpress.com/2008/03/christian-bale-el-maquinista-batman-begins.jpg


I HATE HIM.

scarletpeaches
03-01-2009, 01:08 PM
I concur with those who accuse him of rank yummyness.

Joe270
03-01-2009, 01:58 PM
Meryl Streep does accents ALL The time and no one says she's a bad actress because of that.

Ah hahd ah fahm een Ahfreeka.

Yeah, some of us do.

eyeblink
03-01-2009, 02:26 PM
There was a tendency in the 80s (when Out of Africa came out) for Streep to put on a series of immaculate foreign accents - but often came up with brilliant technique getting in the way of the actual acting. That's not the case with Sophie's Choice or Evil Angels (aka A Cry in the Dark outside Australia), but certainly in other films including that one. She's always been a lot more relaxed and even funnier when doing an American accent.

Definitely not a bad actress but a very "technical" one - and the technique shows at times.

nighttimer
03-01-2009, 02:46 PM
I still like Crash. What was supposed to win instead? Brokeback Mountain?

Though I like to play the game of "What movie SHOULD have won the Oscar," as much as anyone, I'm always afraid it gives the Academy Awards more importance that it deserves. I don't really think a Oscar means these are the five absolutely, postively, no-shit BEST movies. If they did I would love someone to explain to me how The Reader gets a Best Picutre nod and The Dark Knight does not.

But playing along, The Oscars went south for me in 1989 when the sappy sludge that is Driving Miss Daisy topped, Born On the Fourth of July, My Left Foot, Field of Dreams, Dead Poets Society and the not-even-nominated, Do the Right Thing.

DTRT was the movie Barack Obama took Michelle to on their first date. 20 years later, DTRT is somewhat dated in some of it's fashions, slang and hairstyles, but still far more relevant than Driving Miss Daisy which remains sentimential bullshit.

The next travesty came the next year when Dances With Wolves topped Good Fellas. The other contenders were pretty weak (Awakenings, Ghost and The Godfather III), but Good Fellas was the mob movie Martin Scorcese should have won the Oscar for and not The Departed.

There are plenty of other notable slights, Shakespeare in Love winning over Saving Private Ryan has been mentioned and while Gwenyth Paltrow is good, SPR is the one that changed expectations on what a war movie could look and feel like. That's not as bad as 1976 when Rocky beat out Network, All The President's Men and Taxi Driver or 1980 when Raging Bull lost to Ordinary People.

Ordinary People? Never was a movie title more apt. Guess it sounded better than Boring People.
:sleepy:

The Academy Awards aren't about the best in cinema for a given year. They're about what a handful of Hollywood elitists say is the best in cinema and the reasoning behind those selections is totally beyond my comprehension.

It's all about the popcorn. :popcorn:

Albedo
03-01-2009, 04:33 PM
I don't like Braveheart. Aside from Gibson's deplorable acting, clunky, overly-sentimental, bloated and propagandistic writing, you can blame it on my pride. "The bridge was in the way"?! Are you serious? But I have a grudge against the director--Mel Gibson is one of history's worst spin doctors, and he proves it with every film he makes.


I agree with you so much. Gibson pissed historical accuracy up the wall with that movie, and positively slandered Edward II.

scarletpeaches
03-01-2009, 06:06 PM
Oh right, cause the Hammer of the Scots was such a nice man really.

scarletpeaches
03-01-2009, 06:07 PM
Ah hahd ah fahm een Ahfreeka.

Yeah, some of us do.

Ah deengow ate moy boyboy!

Toothpaste
03-01-2009, 07:36 PM
Well I mean if we are going to complain about authenticity in accents, then we should hate SIL in general, because there is no way the british accent sounded like that back in the 1500s. And what about all those films set in ancient Rome where everyone is speaking with perfect british accents? Seriously, I can accept you don't like her acting, I can accept that you don't think she can do a passable accent, but to say that what makes an actor bad is them playing a character different from who they are . . . you know, acting . . . that makes absolutely no sense to me.

You remind me a bit of a casting director I once auditioned for. I came in and read the part as a very nervous character. She was a little shy, and trying to flirt with the other character, though not very well. After I finished I asked the casting director for some notes, and he suggested I make her much more confident. I said no problem. He said, "Really? Because, you know, it just seemed like you were nervous, not the character." I replied, "Um, no, actually I was acting." I then did the scene exactly as he had suggested and he was blown away that an actor actually acted. Like, genuinely surprised and he couldn't compliment me enough. So many people, even within the industry, truly believe that an actor can only play someone similar to herself. That boggles my mind. Maybe it's because of film and especially television. But still. Those of us who have spent years training, who took courses in accent work that involved studying phonetics and the whole shebang, who studied movement, dance, stage combat, singing, those of us who did that know that the actor is an instrument and can do many many things. Why should someone be prevented from playing a role they were meant to play just because of an accent? Especially if they can do that accent immaculately? Like I said, we can argue over whether or not she was able to do the accent immaculately, but that is a very different thing than saying an actor shouldn't be allowed to play a role because of their home accent.

That would mean that in Batman alone we would have to recast -
Batman
Joker
Commissioner Gordon
Falcone (in the first movie)

maestrowork
03-01-2009, 08:00 PM
Toothpaste, it's funny how many casting director are really NOT looking for actors, but an actor who looks and behaves the way they want -- a type. I'd say 80% of the time you're cast because you fit the type, and not because you can act differently than who you are. In a way, it's kind of amazing because with today's technologies, make-up, special effects, etc. when Brad Pitt could play a quiet, shy 80-year-old man, casting directors still are looking for "types" instead of acting abilities. I think there's certain laziness in this -- it's easiest if you can find someone who has similar personality and looks of how THEY envision the character to be.

Typing is rampant in show biz. Some actors actually embrace that because, hey, that gets them jobs. If you can keep playing gangsters or old granny, that means cash and recognition. A very good actress I known made a niche for herself playing zany, grumpy old ladies. But she was perfectly capable of playing a sophisticated President's assistant. But typing has becoming the very essence of Hollywood. And the audiences seem to embrace that -- Seth Rogen, for example, makes a name for himself playing everyday, overweight losers. And the audiences love that and think he's good.... but then he wants to play the Green Hornet and we all go: What? Well, that's acting and we'll see if Roger can pull it off or would he be playing "himself" again.

Some actors have great ranges (Meryl Streep, for example) and some keeps playing the same part (Jack Nicholson), but if they're good at what they do, who cares?

Toothpaste
03-01-2009, 09:14 PM
Hey I have no problem with that, Jeff Goldblum is awesome even though he does the same thing over and over. And trust me I totally get the whole type casting thing myself. Heck every audition I go into, I go in in character because otherwise it will confuse the casting directors too much, lol. My point was simply that actors can act, they aren't just playing themselves all the time. And in theatre (I'm mostly a theatre actress) we do get a bit more leeway that way. Which made my encounter with the casting director all the more bizarre as he was casting a play.

Anyway, I know how the industry works, and I do my best to work within it. But I am also allowed to find it ridiculous. Because honestly, it is.

maestrowork
03-01-2009, 11:08 PM
As a young actor, I was bothered by being typecast. But a wise WORKING actor friend of mine said something really enlightening: typecasting is your friend, if being employed is more important to you than winning the Oscars. Many actors make wonderful living playing the same characters over and over again. They become the "go to" person. Like James Hong. Like Jack Nicholson. Like Al Pacino.

I now embrace being typecasting and have made more money than I did playing either the Chinese grad student (although I'm way too old to play a student anymore) or doctor or tech guy. I like the cash.

On the other hand, I do my BEST work playing something so completely different than who I am. I think that's when you really get the joy out of playing different characters and that's probably why actors do plays even without pay -- because there's much satisfaction is playing someone so unlike you. To live in their skins for a while... I was doing Triumph of Love many years ago and the director wanted to cast me as the witty, charming, ladies' man Harlequin, but instead he cast me as Dimas, the short, gruff, stupid gardener. I even changed my voice to play him. I had the best time playing him and the audience liked it as well.


/ end derail

SirOtter
03-02-2009, 12:50 AM
Well I mean if we are going to complain about authenticity in accents, then we should hate SIL in general, because there is no way the british accent sounded like that back in the 1500s.

True. There was a vowel shift in England in the 1830s that accounts for most of the features folks associate with their accent. They changed, not us. My Southern accent is probably closer to Shakespeare's than Laurence Olivier's ever was.

Albedo
03-02-2009, 10:00 AM
Oh right, cause the Hammer of the Scots was such a nice man really.

The name "Hammer of the Scots" refers to Edward Longshanks, Edward II's father. Mel Gibson unfairly portrays Edward II as a stereoptyped weak, effeminate and mincing homosexual, when in reality he was a brawny, brawling, manly homosexual. Gibson's homophobia doesn't really surprise me, though, given what we know about his other bigotries.

Joe270
03-02-2009, 01:54 PM
Wow.

maestrowork
03-02-2009, 04:51 PM
Joe, we actors are a very sensitive lot, and we band together. :)

scarletpeaches
03-02-2009, 04:52 PM
The name "Hammer of the Scots" refers to Edward Longshanks, Edward II's father. Mel Gibson unfairly portrays Edward II as a stereoptyped weak, effeminate and mincing homosexual, when in reality he was a brawny, brawling, manly homosexual. Gibson's homophobia doesn't really surprise me, though, given what we know about his other bigotries.

Bugger. As a Scot, I'm ashamed to have got my Edwards mixed up. Sorry. :(

Yeshanu
03-02-2009, 07:11 PM
The name "Hammer of the Scots" refers to Edward Longshanks, Edward II's father. Mel Gibson unfairly portrays Edward II as a stereoptyped weak, effeminate and mincing homosexual, when in reality he was a brawny, brawling, manly homosexual. Gibson's homophobia doesn't really surprise me, though, given what we know about his other bigotries.

:ROFL:

To get back on topic: I (of course :D) agree with those who say that Fellowship should have won over A Beautiful Mind. I wouldn't be me if I didn't. However...

I saw A Beautiful Mind, and loved it. Having dealt personally with descents into various forms of madness (myself and others of my acquaintance) I found it powerful and moving.

As for Star Wars, yes it changed the face of movie making. But Best Picture? No. Technically, it was brilliant. But Best Pic for me involves so much more than that--acting (average at best from most leads, though Harrison Ford was at the top of his game back then) and story (honestly, can any fantasy/sci-fi readers or writers say this was better than average) are important too. And I also thought The Empire Strikes Back was the best of the lot.

As for this year, I wasn't surprised that Slumdog won. As for whether it should have won over Benjamin Button, I can't say, as I haven't actually seen Slumdog. But I really enjoyed Benjamin Button. Then again, I'm an artsy type, and the whole concept appealed to me from the beginning.

Plus (speaking of actresses who are not using their native accents) Cate Blanchett was in it, so it was automatically worth seeing. :D

And I will say that unlike No Country for Old Men, those two particular movies are still half-filling theatres three months after their initial releases, and beating out every movie currently playing (at least at the theatres where I work) except Fired Up.

dclary
03-02-2009, 07:36 PM
As a young actor, I was bothered by being typecast. But a wise WORKING actor friend of mine said something really enlightening: typecasting is your friend, if being employed is more important to you than winning the Oscars. Many actors make wonderful living playing the same characters over and over again. They become the "go to" person. Like James Hong. Like Jack Nicholson. Like Al Pacino.

I now embrace being typecasting and have made more money than I did playing either the Chinese grad student (although I'm way too old to play a student anymore) or doctor or tech guy. I like the cash.

On the other hand, I do my BEST work playing something so completely different than who I am. I think that's when you really get the joy out of playing different characters and that's probably why actors do plays even without pay -- because there's much satisfaction is playing someone so unlike you. To live in their skins for a while... I was doing Triumph of Love many years ago and the director wanted to cast me as the witty, charming, ladies' man Harlequin, but instead he cast me as Dimas, the short, gruff, stupid gardener. I even changed my voice to play him. I had the best time playing him and the audience liked it as well.


/ end derail

I just wish you hadn't chosen to play the bad guy in Romeo Must Die, Ray.
:(

dclary
03-02-2009, 07:38 PM
True. There was a vowel shift in England in the 1830s that accounts for most of the features folks associate with their accent. They changed, not us. My Southern accent is probably closer to Shakespeare's than Laurence Olivier's ever was.


Did this coincide with the earth's shift in polarity?

WriteKnight
03-02-2009, 07:52 PM
I'd like to address this comment from the original post.

Braveheart 1995
Notable in that it was the last large-scale battlefield movie to not use CGI to enhance the size of the participating armies

Sorry, the DID use CGI to increase the size of the armies. They a little over a thousand re-enactors. They multiplied them with the use of CGI.

End technical correction.

(In the 'making of' they show how they digitally composited them over the field.)

maestrowork
03-02-2009, 07:52 PM
The world shifts in stupidity. But always seems to be stuck with it.

SirOtter
03-02-2009, 08:07 PM
Did this coincide with the earth's shift in polarity? No, it came about when Cleveland Indians manager Lou Boudreau briefly became unstuck in time. Finding himself in England in 1830, he found a job with a cricket team. Not understanding cricket, he attempted to teach his players the Ted Williams Shift. It was a complete failure, since it doesn't apply to cricket, and he returned to 1946 with no recollection of his sojourn in time and space. The ripple effect of his interference, however, was felt throughout England. No one is sure why it resulted in English vowels being twisted the way they were, except that maybe there was something about Lou trying to talk through a mouthful of chewing tobacco that the cricketeers emulated unsuccessfully and which led to a whole new way of talking for the entire country and several of its colonies.

Actually, it probably had more to do with the Chartist Movement and the Corresponding Societies associated with it, although I'm not sure exactly why.

dclary
03-02-2009, 09:59 PM
I'd like to address this comment from the original post.

Braveheart 1995
Notable in that it was the last large-scale battlefield movie to not use CGI to enhance the size of the participating armies

Sorry, the DID use CGI to increase the size of the armies. They a little over a thousand re-enactors. They multiplied them with the use of CGI.

End technical correction.

(In the 'making of' they show how they digitally composited them over the field.)

I am about a jillion times certain that you are referring to the making of Gibson's other war film The Patriot. If you can direct me to a link pointing this out, however, I'd love to be corrected.

BrittaMoline
03-02-2009, 10:03 PM
This year, there was only one film nominated that deserved the title and that was Milk. So glad Sean Penn and Dustin Lance Black won their categories. It was a predictable crime that it didn't walk away with Best Picture.

Joe270
03-02-2009, 11:14 PM
Joe, we actors are a very sensitive lot, and we band together.

Now I'm gonna be paranoid all week. I envision a mob of actors, in various costumes, chasing me through a casino.

"There he is! The Paltrow denier! Get him!"

scarletpeaches
03-03-2009, 12:42 AM
And there's his sidekick, the Zellweger Opposer!

Toothpaste
03-03-2009, 01:30 AM
Now I'm gonna be paranoid all week. I envision a mob of actors, in various costumes, chasing me through a casino.

"There he is! The Paltrow denier! Get him!"

Oh no worries about that happening, we'll just send Christian Bale after you. :)

scarletpeaches
03-03-2009, 01:41 AM
If that's the case, I, too, repudiate The Paltrow.

maestrowork
03-03-2009, 01:48 AM
For scarletpeaches, we'll send Carrot Top*.


*if we ever even consider him an actor, that is....

scarletpeaches
03-03-2009, 01:50 AM
Huh? Whoever could you mean?!

SirOtter
03-06-2009, 12:05 PM
Picking up where I left off:

1937: The Great Ziegfeld is an enjoyable movie, but better than Mr. Deeds Goes to Town or A Tale of Two Cities? I think not. Or My Man Godfrey, for that matter.

1939: I loved You Can't Take It With You, but is it better than La Grande Illusion, Jezebel or Pygmalion? Maybe, but it's not a more enjoyable film than The Adventures of Robin Hood. Damn near nothing is.

1940: Aside from Love Affair, any of the other BP nominees would have been preferable to that bloated soap opera Gone With the Wind. But that's just my personal bias, I suppose. Dark Victory, Goodbye Mr. Chips, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Ninotchka, Of Mice and Men, Stagecoach, The Wizard of Oz and Wuthering Heights had no chance against that particular 800-pound gorilla, despite each being better films. Bah, humbug.

1941: Okay, I'll grant you Rebecca was good. The Grapes of Wrath was better.

1942: Citizen Kane was robbed. I like How Green Was My Valley, but come on! We're talking about the greatest film ever made here! At least they nominated a B-horror film for something that year. King of the Zombies lost the Best Score Oscar, but it was an honor etc., etc., etc.

1945: Gaslight and Double Indemnity lost out to Going My Way, and Laura wasn't even nominated. Treacle trumps Noir, apparently.

1952: As much as I love An American in Paris, The African Queen is a better film. So is A Streetcar Named Desire. Still, I can't complain too much. At least Bogie finally won something.

1953: Question: How many better movies were released in 1952 than The Greatest Show on Earth? Answer: All of them. Either High Noon or The Quiet Man should have won among the best picture nominees, not to mention Rashomon, Singin' in the Rain, Moulin Rouge (not the musical travesty of recent years), Pat and Mike, The Lavender Hill Mob or The Man in the White Suit. Or a double bill of Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla and Old Mother Riley Meets the Vampire.

1954: Another soap opera beats out several far better films. From Here to Eternity shouldn't even be mentioned in the same room with Shane or Stalag 17.

1961: I have a terrible confession to make. I don't like The Apartment. Sorry, I've just never been that wild about Jack Lemmon. Inherit the Wind, Exodus, Spartacus were all better films. And what about Psycho?!?!?!?

1962: Judgment at Nuremberg is an incredible film, far better than West Side Story. I am appalled.

1964: Tom Jones over Hud? Hmmm.... maybe. Maybe not.

1965: My Fair Lady over Dr. Strangelove is understandable, given Hollywood's permanent case of cultural constipation, but nonetheless deplorable.

1966: A Thousand Clowns is a vastly better film than The Sound of Music. Blecchh!

1969: Oh, puh-lease! Oliver! over A Lion in Winter or Charly?!?!? What are these people smoking? Don't answer that.

1977: Any of the other nominees were better than Rocky, even the overheated Network. All the President's Men deserved better.

1978: Unlike many of my SF fan friends, I honestly don't see Star Wars beating Annie Hall. It was seminal, yes, but imperfect and cartoony. I'd rather the unfortunately titled Sorcerer had won, but it wasn't nominated. Oh, well.

1980: I don't dislike Kramer vs. Kramer, but it didn't deserve to beat Apocalypse Now. But then, what did?

1981: Ordinary People isn't a bad film, but it's the weakest of a strong field. Raging Bull was the best of the lot, with The Elephant Man not far behind.

1982: Nyet to Chariots of Fire, but not in favor of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Reds is a magnificent work, best of the year.

1983: How to win an Oscar: Cobble together an anemic remake of one of the ten best movies ever, switch out Peter O'Toole for Ben Kingsley and move the action from Arabia to India. My Favorite Year is my favorite film of this year (there's O'Toole again), but The Verdict should have beaten Ghandi.

1984: Any of the other four should've edged out Terms of Endearment, especially The Right Stuff.

1985. This is getting redundant. Out of Africa is again the least of the field. My vote is for The Color Purple, but any of the remnant deserve it more than the winner.

1991: Kostner robs Scorcese - Film at eleven. Dances With Wolves is good, but Goodfellas is brilliant.

1994: I lean towards Pulp Fiction as the most deserving picture that year, but I'd've been happy with Shawshank Redemption over Forrest Gump, and not just because Tom Hanks had the worst Southern accent on film since Gone With the Wind.

1996: My ancestors fought alongside both William Wallace and Robert the Bruce, but Apollo 13 is a vastly better film than Braveheart.

1999: Tom Hanks' Southern accent had improved dramatically for Saving Private Ryan, which apparently wasn't good enough to outshine Gwyneth Paltrow's whiny nasal voice in Shakespeare in Love. Hearing that woman speak grates my last nerve.

2001: Not only did Gladiator steal the Oscar from Pollock, Russell Crowe swiped one from Ed Harris, the best and most under recognized actor of his generation.

2004: This won't win me any friends among fantasy fans, but Mystic River was the best movie of this year. Sorry.

2006: What!?!?!? The damn near unwatchable Crash over the brilliant Good Night and Good Luck?!?!?! The merely very good Philip Seymour Hoffman over the incredible David Strathairn?!?!? I almost gave up on the Oscars that year.

And that's all I have to say about that.